The redesigned ink-imaging system also addresses two user concerns: making sure ink cartridges are completely depleted before they must be replaced, and enabling the Officejet Pro 8600 to continue printing even if one of the four separate ink cartridges is depleted:
New ink sensors better gauge when ink is depleted, so that the maximum amount of ink is used before the cartridge must be replaced. When ink sensors detect air rather than ink, the sensor triggers a message to the user (see below) prompting them to either install a new cartridge and continue printing, or continue printing using other cartridges.
With a new reserve mode, once an ink cartridge has been depleted, and the user decides to keep printing, they can keep printing if black ink runs out by using the remaining colors to create a composite black (a combination of cyan, yellow, and magenta) and finish printing the job. If a color ink runs out, they can print using black ink. HP calls this Reserve Mode.
With new Page Completion, the print system is designed to have sufficient ink in the print-head assembly to complete printing the current page at full print quality even when ink is low. This minimizes wasted, half-printed or poor print quality pages when an ink cartridge is depleted. This also helps protect the print head from dry-out damage.
Although the Officejet Pro 8600’s ink cartridges are new, black and color cost per page using high-yield XL cartridges is still the same as with the Officejet Pro 8500A—a very economical 1.6 (black) and 7.2 (color) cents. The new 950XL high-yield ink cartridges also yield more pages (2,300 pages for black, 1,500 pages for each color) versus the previous 940XL cartridges, so that cartridges will have to be replaced less often. This compares very well with competitive color laser All-in-Ones in this class, with the Officejet Pro 8600’s cost per page up to half that of laser systems.
As seen above, when you lower a front door an LED light illuminates the interior and the redesigned print-head carriage. This appears to effectively reduce the unit’s depth compared, so that it’ll take up less space on your desktop. The power-supply brick has also been moved inside the system, so it’s now out of the way. Another convenient upgrade is a pre-installed print head, which we found made hardware installation faster.